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How to Launch a Massage Business

How to Launch a Massage Business

Has it been your dream to launch your own massage business? Whether you are about to embark on this journey solo or you have business partners, there are some important aspects to consider and steps to take as you begin to launch your business. Starting any kind of business can be difficult as it presents many unique obstacles, but we have gathered some resources that can guide you in creating the massage business you have always wanted.

Become an expert on all of the aspects of creating, owning and opening a massage and spa business, like finding equipment, logistics, finances and recruiting your team. Are you ready to take the first step in creating your massage business? 

Create a Business Plan

Opening and starting a massage business may cost quite a bit of money upfront. You'll have to invest a lot of your money and resources into finding people to work at your spa, marketing materials to get the word out about your business and, most importantly, filling your spa with massage equipment. While figuring out all the financials sounds like a lot of work, you can make it much easier by putting everything down on paper or even in a spreadsheet. If you want to start off on the right foot when it comes to financially planning out your massage business, you’ll need to create a blueprint or business plan. Consider salon equipment financing to get quality equipment without burning through your budget. In your business plan, you will want to dive into these topics and thoroughly list your goals, requirements and needs: 

create a business plan

  • Your company’s mission.
  • Goals you have for your business (could be financial, personal or other things).  
  • A detailed breakdown of potential client demographics.
  • An analysis of the region and location where you plan to open your business.
  • Demographics on other competing businesses in the area and how your business plans to differentiate.
  • Important financial information such as assets, cash flow, potential expenses and revenue and liabilities. 
  • A digital plan and strategy for social media and a website.
  • A timeline of opening your business, supported by practical financial expenses.

Where to Shop for Salon Locations

After you have created a business plan and are familiar with your mission, goals and budget, determine where you want to open your business. Whether you're looking to open your massage business locally or in a neighboring town, it's a great idea to start looking for retail or salon spaces that you can buy or rent so you have a better idea of the financial commitment. 

As you're looking for places, you will want to keep in mind not only how you want your space to look, but also how many employees you would like to have so that you can choose a storefront that fits your business goals and needs perfectly. As you look at storefronts, find other spas or salons that have a lot of traffic and business happening in the area. You want your business to be easily accessible to people who are local or traveling into town, while also having the potential exposure of people walking by your business. Some smart factors to consider when looking at storefronts are the location, parking, accessibility and neighboring businesses that might complement the services you offer, like nail salons, restaurants, cafes or hair salons. The more bustling your block, the better chances you have at creating a strong brand recognition within the neighborhood where you open your business. Also consider placing your spa near a bustling hotel that doesn't offer spa services. Many people traveling love to indulge in spa services. 

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Identify Your Business Differentiators 

Now that you have created a business plan, explored your mission in depth and you have an idea of what you want your business storefront to look like, you will want to think about what services or environment you can offer that aren’t currently available at other massage businesses in the area. Brainstorming how to differentiate your business will ensure success as you start to open your storefront and welcome in clients. It’s not a bad idea to check out other massage businesses or salons in the area to see how they have decorated or the technology and equipment they are using so you can further understand how to make your business stand out.  

masseuse rubbing clients shoulder

Get to Know Your Potential Clients

As you begin to think about what differentiates your business, it's also important to think about who your target client is. Identifying who your customer is, or will be, provides you with a lot of insight into how you can reach these people so that you can get your business up and running as soon as you open. Of course, the client you wish to reach and the clients you actually reach may differ as you start your business, but learning who you want to attract can help you identify the areas of your business you need to spend more time on in order to attract the clientele you want. 

Build a Client Email List

Now that you have the logistics down, you may be wondering how to build clientele. Do you have a client list that you're going to be bringing to your business, perhaps from another job or just through various connections you've made? If so, it will be important to make sure you have these clients’ contact information, such as their email, and create frequent communication with your potential clients. Setting up an email list and sending out a newsletter to keep clients posted on when your business will be opening is a great way to make sure you have business on day one. If you don't have a current client list, you may want to start recruiting clients or employees who can bring their own client base to your business.

set up an email list

Develop Your Workforce

As you prepare to open your business, you will want to make sure that you have hired and retained talented massage therapists and other operational staff to help keep your business thriving. You can post your job openings on a job board or you can recruit therapists from local massage schools. As you scout talent and conduct interviews, you'll want to make sure you ask potential candidates about what they can bring to your business — in terms of clients or any special skills or certifications. As you hire staff, make sure you have a well-rounded group of diverse therapists so that you can attract more clients while being able to offer them many options.

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Shop for Massage Equipment

In order to give your guests the best service, not only will you need to choose a massage table, but you also need retail stations, disposable massage table covers and everything in between. Aside from equipment, you'll also want to determine the physical layout of your massage business’s space. It's critical to create a relaxing presence and atmosphere for your guests since they will be visiting your business to escape and unwind. Choose a color scheme and decor aesthetic that speaks to the clients you want to attract and the vision you have for your business. 

As you shop for equipment, prioritize quality. Since you will be putting a lot of money into the startup of your business, you will want equipment that will last you for a couple of years so you can build your reputation and hit the ground running right away. As you hire massage therapists and operational staff, it may be helpful to solicit their feedback and input regarding the kinds of equipment and technology they like to use at work so that you can provide them with the foundation to flourish and do a stand-out job. Every single detail is important as your business’s brand new reputation is always on the line. 

massage bed with candles

Create a Digital Presence

Yes, your storefront and physical space will need to look professional and inviting because that’s where you, your employees and clients will be spending the most time, but you also need to put in the same energy into creating a digital presence — such as a website or social media profiles. 

Especially as you gear up to launch your business, having a social media presence and an intuitive and welcoming website can help you build up brand awareness and your client list before you even open the doors. You can even document behind the scenes content of opening your business and creating your space, which comes off as very relatable and popular on social media. You can keep potential clients and followers up to date on when you will open, as well as share any specials you might be offering. Having a digital platform before you open your business to the public is important because it could help you establish your place in the community, recruit talent and build clientele. 

Partner with and Leverage Local Businesses and Resources

If you experience any obstacles while creating and opening up your business, you can always turn to local resources like the chamber of commerce or other local initiatives that could help small businesses, woman-owned companies or minority-run businesses. Leveraging these resources or partnering with local companies can really help you achieve success and clear the common hurdles that come with starting a business. You can also partner up with local businesses to help spread the word about your new space. Look for opportunities to partner with local businesses or participate in community initiatives to get the word out about your business.

participate in community initiatives

Think About Automation in Your Business 

Once you have opened your business, you will want to ensure you have processes and technology in place to make sure your clients get the best service, your employees feel empowered and supported and your business is thriving. After you have larger ticket items figured out, like your storefront, hiring talent and filling your spa with equipment, you may want to look into certain software programs that allow clients to book appointments and get reminders for upcoming appointments, product recommendations and more. Having these automated features can really help streamline your business once you’re open, which frees up time to focus on other aspects of making sure your business runs smoothly. 

Plan a Grand Opening

As we mentioned above, it is really important to get the neighborhood, other local businesses and community initiatives involved in your business for many reasons. But as you plan the grand opening of your spa, see if you can enlist local companies to help spread the word or offer some kind of promotion at their stores. As you plan your grand opening, you will want to make sure your digital clients and social media followers know what to expect and are excited to participate. You could offer a huge promotion on services or put together a grand opening day where you invite the public in to check out your new business. Either way, starting your massage therapy business off with a bang is a great way to let people know you are open for business and ready to accept clients. 

Starting any kind of business can be challenging and it will look different for everyone. The main key to success when creating a massage business is making sure you build a pipeline of clients who are ready to experience your services on day one. So while creating a business plan and finding a physical space for your spa may seem like a top priority, make sure to pay equal attention to creating your digital presence and building client outreach programs that will serve you in the long run. 

couple getting scalp massages

We hope that these guidelines help you understand how you could start your own massage therapy business and get your business up and running as soon as possible. 


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